Second Annual Block Party: Living Culture During Welcome Week
For the second year in its tenure at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), The Student Activities Office, Office of Diversity Inclusion and Multicultural Education (ODIME), the Housing & Residential Experience Center, and the Center for Well Being hosted an annual Block Party. This event is offered during our campus Welcome Week (the first week of classes) to celebrate the varied cultures represented in Worcester and at WPI.
This year’s Block Party was different from its first iteration, with the planning committee's priority to have students experience culture as opposed to mimicking the classroom setting to learn about it. Instead of guided lectures, we hired a disc jockey, catered various food from local Worcester businesses, and offered opportunities to engage in culture through different mediums. It was a party for all intents and purposes with wellness activities rooted in cultural celebration and history. Student organizations were invited to co-sponsor the event by offering foods or activities that represent the culture their respective organization fosters community for.
"As a student leader, I enjoyed the "sponsorship" structure that was presented to involve student orgs in the Block Party. I had the freedom to be creative and think about how we could best engage students. Overall, the Block Party was a great opportunity for students returning to campus or arriving on campus for the first time to enjoy the diversity of cultures on campus and in the Worcester community. I had a lot of fun talking to students about the different pride flags we had available for them and helping them find the flag that represents and celebrates them!"
-Emmaline Raven (Alliance President)
"The start-of-year block party was a window into the melting pot that is WPI, where any student can experience, learn, mingle with, and enjoy a multitude of cultures—and in WPI Hillel’s case with our apples and honey: a pretty sweet introduction to the academic and Jewish new year!"
-Nadav Konstantine (Hillel President)
With 400 attendees, seven local Worcester organizations, and seven partnering student organizations, Student Welcome Week closed with celebrating the beauty of difference and the learning opportunity experiences like these offer students.